Whether it is your own research or that relevant to my One-Name study I advocate keeping a list of to do’s. As I examine each document, I use each individual item of information as a fact and that enables me to build a timeline up. Where I don’t have an obvious piece of information then that raises a question and is added to my research log
A good example, remembering that I begin my study with marriages as the core database and then build families, but more about that tomorrow! I enter the marriage into Roots Magic, then locate the children through births and baptism records. I then use the census recording any occupation. If someone is missing from the census the obvious question is where are they? I keep a list in my note book of missing individuals -nothing fancy, just name, place of birth, year of birth and name of parents. I then at some point go through the list and see if they have moved to another area, the name is spelt incorrectly, or were they incarcerated – prison or mental hospital? Were they transported or did they die? I then on my to do list refer back to the missing list so I know what I am looking for.
As I cross things off the lists I date them and add the details to Roots Magic, citing the source and reference. That approach is slow, but it is the way I am wired! I am a great fan of keeping a research log along with my questions and to do’s. I have used both a paper version of a research log and a paper and pen version and do prefer the latter. There is an electronic version of my Research Log on the list of links, at the top right (when you click the link, it will auto download).
More tomorrow when we look at reconstructing families.